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2008 Indiana State Championship
(19 April 2008)

Back to the Beginning

In the first ever Indiana State Championship, Center Grove High School won it all. Fast forward eleven years, and the newest state champion is... Center Grove!

Sandwiched in between have been champions Andrean, Penn, and Harrison. All three of those schools, as well as a host of more than twenty others, were in contention, making for perhaps the most unpredictable championship ever.

As always, Round 1 featured matches between teams from different leagues. All five teams from the St. Joseph Valley League won their matches, with Penn getting the high score of the round at 455 points. Two games' outcomes hinged on an appeal, with Harrison and Lawrence North being the beneficiaries.

Round 2 had several nail-biters decided by small margins. Chesterton and Lakeview Christian won by 10 points each, and Crown Point and McCutcheon won by the narrowest of margins, 5 points. And fully eight teams moved to 2-0, guaranteeing spots in the afternoon playoffs.

The last preliminary round was high drama. In matchups featuring undefeated teams, Adams topped Fishers, Harrison beat Lawrence North, and Center Grove nipped Washington by 5. There were several matches that functioned as eliminations because two 1-1 teams faced off. In these, New Palestine won over Chesterton, Penn ran up 450 points against Valparaiso, St. Joseph's beat McCutcheon, Andrean prevailed against Broad Ripple, and Lakeview Christian took out Anderson. Much of the drama centered on waiting for the outcome of Mishawaka Marian versus Crown Point for the last playoff spot. An appeal and a counterappeal sent the game to sudden death overtime, won by Crown Point.

Before the beginning of the tournament, the coaches decided to expand the playoffs to include all 3-0 and 2-1 teams. With the bye counting as a win, this ended up creating a situation in which fourteen schools qualified. Among them were four of the league champions and three Indiana tourney champions. This promised an exciting afternoon.

The octofinal round saw the highest score ever in a game at the state level in history, with St. Joseph's posting 570 points. But a more intriguing storyline emerged in the other half of the draw, where New Palestine reversed their morning loss to Fishers and then went on to upset the #1 seed, John Adams. Last year's finalist Andrean saw their hopes of a championship end to the high-scoring Penn team. In another rematch, Center Grove went from beating Washington by 5 in the morning to winning convincingly in the quarterfinals. Harrison then locked out St. Joseph's, winning on the last question, 370-365.

Neither semifinal was close, with Penn ending the Cinderella streak of New Palestine and Center Grove upending the defending champs, Harrison. In the final, Center Grove nursed a small lead into an 80-point victory, thereby claiming the title.